New Britain, Conn., March 20, 2020 – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) has revised its First Years First Initiative guidelines in order to continue effectively supporting optimal learning and development of young children in our communities.

The First Years First initiative (FYF), established in 2005, is a long-term investment of the CFGNB to prepare young children for success in school and in life by enhancing their early childhood development experience. The Initiative strives to provide our youngest children and their caregivers with the developmentally strong start in life they need to succeed.

Following a year of review, discussion with community partners, and a survey of area preschool professionals, kindergarten teachers and other school administrators, the Foundation’s Community Initiatives Committee and the Board of Directors revised the age range for the Initiative. Given funding limitations and current data on the importance of early learning even before students attend preschool, a narrower age-range focus of birth through preschool will be the focus beginning in 2020.

“Since the Initiative started, $2 million in grant funding has been instrumental in delivering and expanding quality educational services to young children and their families. This pivot in focus and age range will allow us to address emerging needs and build on our success so far,” said Joeline Wruck, Director of Community Initiatives at the CFGNB.

Three strategies will be the focus for the initiative moving forward and will include strengthening social emotional learning among young children to support school readiness and success. Social emotional learning training will also be provided to parents, caregivers, teachers, and other adults that work with young children. The initiative will also seek to strengthen parent and caregiver’s skills by increasing knowledge of child brain development and the lasting impact of high quality early childhood education. The Foundation hopes to support programs that will aid in deepening relationships between caregivers and young children and provide external activities such as workshops, seminars, or other caregiver training. Finally, FYF will continue to focus on the development of skills in early math, writing, and literacy for families with young children.

For more information about First Years First or to discuss an application for a grant to your organization, please call or e-mail Joeline Wruck, Director of Community Initiatives and Program Services, at 860.229.6018, x307 or You can also find more information by visiting

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is “Where Good Begins” in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. The Foundation works to inspire philanthropy, responsibly manage permanent charitable assets, and partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership. For more information, visit